The serenity of US President Barack Obama’s Hawaiian vacation was rattled a little on Saturday when demonstrators aired grievances against unmanned aircraft and other issues in a small protest zone near the first family’s upscale rented house.
Returning from an early morning gym visit at nearby US Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Obama’s motorcade passed a few dozen protesters holding signs with slogans including: “Drones: Unethical and Illegal,” “U.S. Bases Out” and “Close Guantanamo Now.” Others expressed their opposition to genetically modified foods.
It marked a second day of peaceful protest surrounding Obama, who is spending a two-week vacation in Kailua with wife Michelle, daughters Malia and Sasha, the first lady’s mother, Marian Robinson, and the family’s Portuguese Water Dogs, Bo and Sunny.
On Friday evening, as many as 27 protesters turned out to demonstrate against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact being negotiated between the US and several Asian and South American countries.
Opponents of TPP say the agreement is being written to benefit large multinational corporations.
“Other than a friendly ‘shaka sign’ from the president as he drove by in his motorcade, we have not received a formal response from the White House,” said Mike Hasselle of the MoveOn Honolulu Council, one of the organizers of the action.
Obama has received mostly a warm reception in and around Honolulu, where he was born and spent much of his boyhood.
Hundreds of onlookers swelled around his motorcade for about four blocks on Friday night after the Obama family dined at Nobu, an award-winning Japanese fusion restaurant, in Waikiki.
As the motorcade pulled away for the 24km drive back to Kailua, the crowds clapped, cheered and waved, snapping photographs with their cellphones.
French authorities yesterday said that they would close a Paris mosque as part of a clampdown on radical Islam that has yielded over a dozen arrests following the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. The mosque in a densely populated suburb northeast of Paris had disseminated a video on its Facebook page days before Friday’s gruesome murder, railing against teacher Samuel Paty’s choice of material for a class discussion on freedom of expression, a source close to the investigation said. The French Ministry of the Interior said the mosque in Pantin, which has
LONGSTANDING NEUTRALITY: The US request came as it vied for influence in Southeast Asia with China, but Indonesia has never let foreign militaries operate there Indonesia this year rejected a proposal by the US to allow its P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance planes to land and refuel there, four senior Indonesian officials familiar with the matter have said. US officials made multiple “high-level” approaches in July and August to Indonesia’s defense and foreign ministers before Indonesian President Joko Widodo rebuffed the request, the officials said. Representatives for Indonesia’s president and defense minister, the US Department of State’s Office of Press Relations and the US embassy in Jakarta did not respond to requests for comment. Representatives for the US Department of Defense and Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi
COVID-19 UNDER CONTROL: The two prime ministers agreed to ease entry bans, and allow short-term business visits and reopen flights between Vietnam and Japan Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, in his first overseas summit since taking office last month, yesterday agreed with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to step up defense and security cooperation in the face of China’s expanding influence in the region. In talks in Hanoi, Suga and Phuc set up a basic agreement allowing Japan to export defense equipment and technology to Vietnam. Japan has been pursuing such agreements to bolster ties with Southeast Asian nations and sustain its own defense industry. Suga said that his four-day trip to Vietnam and Indonesia would be key to pursuing the “free and open Indo-Pacific” vision
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said that he has no problem with being held responsible for the many killings under his crackdown on drugs, and that he is ready to face charges that could land him in jail, but not charges of crimes against humanity. Duterte’s televised remarks were among his clearest acknowledgement of the prospects that he could face a deluge of criminal charges for the bloody campaign he launched after taking office in the middle of 2016. Police have reported that at least 5,856 drug suspects have been killed in raids and more than 256,000 others arrested since